tv Our World With Black Enterprise FOX June 24, 2012 5:30am-6:00am PDT
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parker. >> you must be stanley. i'm blanch. >> yes. >> where's little woman? >> in the bathroom. >> here with the stars of the revived hit "a streetcar named desire," blair underwood and nicole ari parker. con gratelationgratulatio congratulations. that's a big deal. >> yes. >> the shows are closing out around us. it's by word of mouth. the word on the street is this is the show to come to. >> this is a huge hit. >> "a," it's a classic american play and "b," blair underwood is in it. >> like nicole said, it's a classic. many people feel as though they know it or think they know it. it's important to have a barometer, point of reference. >> one of the perceptions is that you all have radically changed the play from the original tennessee williams version or even the randall version. >> minor things. >> minor changes. >> people are basing it on the movie.
a lot of people haven't read the actual play. they're going off the movie version in 1951 which was made at a time when censorship is very high. most of the stories, the key turning points in the story are taken out in the movie. when you come to the theater and you see some of the violence and some of the passion, it's startling. >> oh, please god. if any of you have one spark of decency in you. >> hey, hey, hey. >> take your hands off me. >> the movie had big issues in 1951. there are three major issues. a rape that take place, pedophilia. blanch's character is associated with a 17-year-old boy and homosexuality. those three issues you couldn't put on screen in 1951.
>> you are honoring the film version in the play. one of the critiques that are coming out, that somehow because there are black people in it, it's not what tennessee williams originally intended. what do you say about that? >> i'm an american, i'm an actor, this is a play and we're doing it. the same words that are on that page are coming out of my mouth with respect for these people. if it's making people come out of their seats, great. if it's making people give a standing ovation every single night, great. if it's enough to bring people back two and three times to get an extension, even more great. so i think that our presence always has ruffled feathers, no matter what we are doing. >> we are multicultural. we have white brothers and sisters, latino brothers. it is multicultural. i heard people say, tennessee williams would be turning over in his grave. that is wishful thinking. our director knew tennessee williams. this was a man of the south,
grew up in mississippi. he was a gay man of the south, livered in the french quart when he wrote "a streetcar named desire." knew the different cultures, he knew that world. >> one of my lin is i was played out. you know what played out means? the audience laughs because it's a statement that we say in our community and people have thought i made it up. that's in the play. he wrote that in 1947. >> he was even culturally ahead of his time. >> it seems that he would react opposite of what people are saying. >> we'll never know. there's not a reason that people shouldn't see this because there are black people in it. >> what does it mean doing a tv show versus broadway? what's the preparation? how is it different. >> we have four weeks of rehearsal, which is criminal doing tennessee williams. we should have had six or seven. the material is so rich.
eight shows a week is pretty intense. it's a very -- for my character at least, it's a three-hour emotional and mental decline. and i mean, i'm using everything that i have, my mind, my body, my soul. everything is -- my voice. we have to fill that theater. so i find it much more challenging than film. >> what about the response? i understand the preparation in a sense. it's the satisfaction you get from hearing a crowd immediately responsible or immediately laugh or feel something? that's what like? >> oh, man. >> it's magical. when people talk about getting that bug, you've been bitten by the acting bug? that's part of the bug, the creation of the character, the presentation, the response. being in that room with that audience at the same time and that partnership you have as the actor with the audience. that's give and take. it's incredible. >> you have a secret to longevity. >> most people don't laugh that long. how did you manage to stay alive in the business?
>> it's not waiting for somebody to hire you. it's creating opportunities. that's why i started a production company. a lot of actors nowadays, entertainers are doing that. you realize you can't be beholden to studios or getting a producer to hire you. you're creating your own employment and opportunities. not just yourself but other people. >> i think also more african-americans are very interested in what's happening behind the camera. and that's changing what's in front of the camera. because i think it took us a while to figure out if we're the producer, we have more power than if we're the star sometimes. >> right, right. >> if we're the writer, we can control the dialogue and the images and if we're the director we can compose the shots. i think our producers are the only black producers on broadway right now. >> lastly, let me ask you a question. when we look at the sweep of hollywood for black folk in the last 20 years, we've seen some growth, some development,
ownership around inclusion. what do you think the next ten years will look like? do you see the future of black hollywood to be bright. >> i'll always take the positive upswing, yes, i'll go with that partially because of conversations like this and the reality of people thinking not just of artists but entrepreneurs. >> broadway, hollywood, tv, what is next for you two? what is the next big thing? >> hm-mm? >> the producer wants to take the play to london after this. >> really? >> in october. we've been invited to the west end and we're pretty excited. >> this whole wave has been exciting and phenomenal. i have to say, the people will come. they're coming in droves to "streetcar." we're grateful to the audience. >> i'm also really grateful, you know, because this really is a dream come true. when you're a grown-up, childhood dreams get further and further away. whenever i get the tune to tell someone i want to make sure i
remind people that you should never give up. you really should never give up because it really could happen and it most likely will if you hold on eighth breathe. >> i'm grateful to you all for the amazing work you're doing. thank you so much. pleasure. >> thank you, brother. pleasu pleasure. >> thank you. "our world" will be back in a flash. and next, we break down the rhyme and reason behind hip hop culture. "our world" with black enterprise is sponsored in part by toyota, moving forward.
♪ ♪ i'm still here ♪ i'm still standing ♪ standing welcome back. hip hop started out in the park. now a few decades later it's a global phenomenon penetrating every facet of mainstream culture. the question we have now is, where's it going? helping me to understand that question is hip hop artist extraordinaire and a rapper/activist. thank you for being here. where do we go from here? hip hop has been around for
multiple decades. we've seen language, fashion. what does hip hop do next? >> we have more than one hip hop. right now i think the most profitable hip hop is in trouble in terms of what it articulates, what it says. it doesn't need to be political. the ideas about community and self-development and humanity, that commercial mainstream hip hop promotes has some real challenges. i think we need to be critical of that and still love hip hop. >> right. i agree. i think we're at the best of times and the worst of times. on the one hand you have the hip hop industry that's been completely corporatized. pushing pop music. we have technology that's allowed artists like myself to come with a grass roots perspective, communicate directly with the audience and get a positive message out. >> i think the political work many artists are doing.
i mean, when trayvon martin got killed, even when trey davis was about to be executed, you made videos that got the world's attention. millions and millions of hits for the troy davis video, you'll get millions of hits for the trayvon martin video. >> on twitter, people were saying various things. people look to me for, okay, something happens, we know at least he's going to speak to those issues. ♪ ♪ he just came up from miami to see his daddy ♪ >> this is what's interestingly happened, other hip hop artists, hip hop artists that are more known than me, if they demand of these artists, they'll say more. at the end of the continue they want to please their consumer.
>> at the end of the day, hip hop is more political. >> i feel more better and suited for that. that's when we need to be in the right position to speak spp we want people speaking out politically about injustice, who are able to do that fluently. you don't want with the to send the wrong people in that position. >> sure, sure. >> i think we have lost a long historical value, speaking to the black condition, what it means to be african-american. and that really has been reduced, this bling, bling, hip hop trinity, a gangster trinity in hip hop. it's produced the most money ever and continues to drive primary youth interest. until we unlock that, i think it's going to be a hard race. >> how do you deal with the artist who says, i would make other kinds of music but the labels won't let me. >> labels are waiting for artists to develop their fan base, seeing it grow and saying,
okay, we want to sign you, a bidding war develops. then the artist can say i'll sign where i want to sign. >> if you want to be a hundred trillion a trilli trillionaire, that's the route you have to go. >> hip hop is a global phenomenon. we hear hip hop coming out from every sector of the world. you just came back from tour. what are you seeing around the globe. >> it's amazing, man, we just toured south africa, did a big festival, did some side shows, we were in capetown. the amount of people that got into the music or knew my music specifically word for word is mind-blowing. the fame in europe, the fame in asia, australia, you see rou -- how receptive they are.
>> the culture of hip hop is more respected. people embrace the culture, whether it's graffiti, breaking. even the revolutionary aspects of hip hop, you had artists responsible for creating the sound track that, you know, said off the arab springs and some other movements around the world. that's why you see the real revolutionary elements th hip hop originated with. you see artists like myself being embraced. >> last question. where will hip hop be? where will hip hop be in ten years? what will it look like, what will it feel like? >> gospel thought it was the end, soul thought it was the end. r & b. something is coming. we want that next thing to be vie bran the, challenging, critical, and most importantly that it loves the black community, that it doesn't think the only way to get ahead is to
get over on somebody's back. you cannot survive that. hip hop has shown that to us. we have not listened carefully to what that outcome can be. >> we're going to see that revolutionary aspect of hip hop, the essence of hip hop, the origins of hip hop coming back full circle. >> it's definitely going towards the technology route and i'm sitting there like who knows, you know. you know, we saw the holograms with tupac recently. who knows what others will look like. i'm excited about where i'm going with it and other artists can do the same thing. >> that will be the last word. thank you so much. the latest album is called "war." professor tricia rose, "the hip hop wars," an excellent analysis of hip hop culture. stay right there. we'll be back with more "our
this is our "slice of life." ♪ >> the harlem ymca in new york city is a treasured institution where children come to swim, learn, play and make new friends. tiffany park is the executive director. it's also where young people are paired with progressionals who offer mentorship and career advice. >> welcome to the 42nd annual national salute to black achievers in the industry. >> this year, they put a spotlight on young achievers while raising more than $600,000. that's no easy feat in this economy. >> the industry is a circle of hope. we take seventh grade and eighth grade and ninth grade students and link them to mentors. the mentors are the achievers honored by the corporation. they are our achievers of the evening who are on stage.
those are role models these children can look up to. >> since 1971, the black achievers in industry program is used to show african-american diversity in the corporate world. >> we're placing 20 students who have received a corporate college scholarship with corporations with like fields they're studying for hands-on work experience. we feel we have the next future talent that's coming through. >> they have a bunch of programs and people who actually care. >> what they are trying to do is improve the lives of those individuals, whether they be young or old so they can have healthy, productive lives. >> being a young african-american male being in a public high school, we often don't have many opportunities beuse of the color of our skin or just what we've faced in our lives. >> the harlem y has always been a place for young people to grow. >> so many young people are
falling through the cracks, maybe growing up in households that don't have the resources necessary. >> as far as what the ymca does and our commission and our call, our commission is to be here for youth development, for healthy lifestyles and social responsibility. each day we really try to live that. >> i think the harlem ymca is one of the best models for community service in urban communities. >> as executive director, he's doing more. they introduce the harlem y to college campuses. >> we do this every year. we're taking over 50 students on a college tour, to give them something where they feel familiar, they're in their comfort zone and can see themselves in a higher education setting. >> what's next for tiffany and her beloved harlem y? >> as far as the y, to continue growth in the community, service